Report 24/6/16

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099
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Report 24/6/16

Post by subeditor » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:05 pm

Well it’s winter at least that what the calendar tells us even though the weather hasn’t cooled off much and it has been raining. All a little different to expected but there has been good signs of the winter species starting to show up. Patchy as they have been there has been some good reports of the Mackerel being about. School Mackerel, mostly in good sizes have continued to come further north and Hinchinbrook up to Innisfail area have produced at the usual hot spots. They are still a little picky so you need to ensure that your gear is as light as you can get away with. This recent rain may ease this with some colour in the water making visibility less and easier to fool the Mackerel. The micro jig method has been very successful and this is because they match the bait fish the mackerel are eating. Hopefully the water clarity will drop down allowing a light wire on the jigs because without it the losses can add up. When it is very clear wire will put them off and you will get few bites, it adds up to a catch 22 with wire putting them off resulting in on bites and no wire losing most to bite offs.

The rain will have the added effect of cooling the water off as well making it more attractive for those fish traveling up from south. This will also bring our demersal species up into some shallower water from the deep where they have been since before Xmas making them a much more manageable proposition to catch before the huge numbers of Sharks get more than their share. I know the experts tell us that there are fewer Sharks about now, well that is unbelievable, there are more and more people reporting having any decent fish hooked being taken by Sharks to the extent of not getting a feed in spite of hooking many quality fish. It may be that Sharks have become educated to the easy feed or it may have something to do with the cut in shark catch quota. Scott Winkworth was out recently and the sharks got the better of his catch like the large Queenfish in the below photo. I’m no expert so I can’t shine any light on that. I don’t mind the winter rains as long as the winds come down and make it fishable. There are some good schools of Tuna about as well so that is another good use for your Micro jigs.

The extended warmer weather has had a least some upside in the fact that there are still a number of Barramundi being caught around the local waterways. A number of the estuary charter boats have been catching them while fishing live baits for other species. The rain may give us another flush of Prawns in some of the local rivers and that will attract the fish to those areas. Break out the cast net a couple more times and have a cast around. Soft Prawn and Vibe lures also work very well at this time of the year with all the smaller bait species schooling up. Fish them along the edges and in the gutters.

As the water cools with winter the shallower areas will hold the fish. Rock bars fall into this category as well by absorbing the suns heat at low tide and transferring it as the tide comes in and covers them. Warm water and current are the two factors that attract the bait and Barramundi. Trevally, Queeenfish and Mangrove Jacks are the major targets for the next couple of months around our estuaries. The schools of small to medium Trevally can be a trip saver with good numbers and are a feisty opponent. Don’t waste them, as filleted fresh on the BBQ they are a great feed, just don’t freeze them for 6 months and expect them to be much good. Eat the ones you catch today then go and catch some more. The cooler weather will hopefully bring on some Whiting and Flathead for our shore based anglers fishing the mouths of the local rivers.

The late rain has been a God send for our local freshwater creeks and rivers. The lack of rain over Summer had most areas with very low water levels and to top them up just a touch has seen an increase in activity from the fish species recently. Early morning and evening sessions with small Poppers now that the rivers have a little colour in them have produced some good quality Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch. Noisy vibe type lures are also working in the deeper areas as the sun gets up. The continuing reports of Saltwater Croc’s a long way up in the fresh should make us all much more careful when we fish those dark still waterholes above the influence of tide.

The bottom end of any rapids are an area fish often sit waiting for food to be washed downstream so is a good place to target them. Bread drifted down these rapids will see the fish strike it as soon as it gets into the range of the waiting fish. A fresh piece of bread on the end of your line drifted down the same path should meet the same fate. This is a great way to introduce kids to fishing and releasing their catch as most are small but heaps of fun. Seeing the fish taking the bread line then the piece that has a small unweighted hook buried in adds to the excitement of the experience, give it a go you may enjoy it more than the kids.
Winter is traditionally the quiet season for Barramundi at the dam. The fact that the weather hasn’t cooled down yet by a big degree means the Barra are still about if you are prepared to put the time in. Don’t get me wrong you will need the winter woollies if you are heading up there as at any time of the year it can get be extremely cold up there. The shallower water will tend to get warmer from the sun as the day progresses making many of the flats the ideal spot to target into the evening. As the water cools the fish tend to get lazier so a slow moving soft plastic that is easier for them to catch is the best bet. Shallow water is also more danger from predators so they bare much more skittish meaning you have to be as quiet as you can be and keep any talking to a minimum so as not to spook them. School holidays are always popular up there so there will be plenty of other boats around so as I always say show some courtesy to those around you and you will probably have it returned and we will all have a much happier time. Don’t forget your permit and safety gear.

This months tip is to get out and try some of the Micro Jigs that have been working very well lately. In our area they vary in weight from 20gm to 100gm with 40gm and 60gm the most popular. The gear you need to use them you will probably have in a rod and reel with 20-30lb braid and preferably a spin outfit with a high speed reel to get the best action from the jigs. Center weighter jigs like the Entice Flop and Streamer will flutter down very attractively and get bit going down as well as being retrieved. This in itself can cause some problems in that Mackerel in particular tend to take them straight down as they flutter down and if you are fishing wireless will bite you off. Try to keep in touch as you drop if you can’t get any bites with as short light wire and I do mean short(10cm) and light (36lb) because you will never lose a jig with a meter of 100lb wire because you will struggle to even get a bite unless the water has some colour in in to hide the heavy trace. Rigged with wire assist hooks to suit the jig will also help avoid biteoffs. Come in store and get the staff to run you through the options and get out and catch a few.

Erskine's Tackle Wolrd
51 Mulgrave Road, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: 07 4051 6099

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